In any industry there will be businesses there are good and bad. Ones that are good at what they do and strive to set the bar high or businesses that are just looking to maximize profit and do the bare minimum. Don’t get me wrong any individual or individuals in business needs to make money and thats one of the reasons they are in business but should not be their main concern. Unfortunately in the home inspection industry there are businesses who’s only concern is profit and not the customers best interest in what will most likely be the largest purchase in their life…not a big deal right? WRONG!!!!!!!! It really boils down to Quality vs Quantity..how many inspections can they do in one day? The answer well thats debatable… One inspector should not be able to preform (in my opinion) more than 2 full home inspections in one day when you figure in approx three hours per inspection, drive time to the next inspection, writing the reports back at the office/going over pictures/researching unknowns, answering clients questions/previous inspection questions, and getting set up for the next day. Now some outfits may have a secretary to relieve some of those burdens but you get the idea of a day in the life of a inspector. To try to cram more into a day something will probably suffer and more than likely it is the quality.
The home inspection industry is competitive and should be 100% unbiased you would think inspectors would welcome the opportunity to allow prospective home buyers to freely choose a home inspector. Unfortunately too many inspectors rely upon real estate agents to steer clients their way. Appox less than 1% of all home inspectors claim that they do not solicit real estate agents for client leads. In a free marketplace, companies that provide a poor service eventually go out of business. In the world of home inspection, there is an artificial marketplace controlled by real estate agents. This allows “agent friendly” inspectors to stay in business, regardless of their inspection abilities which is why you as a customer must do your own research with several articles online or as stated in a previous post. These quick inspections are typically less than 1hr and the client may not be allowed to attend..how do you inspect a property/house and the components in less than an hour and can you effectively communicate issues present in the house without the client being present!?!
Most real estate agencies work on an average commission of 5% paid by the seller of the property. A house selling for $200,000 has a potential commission of $10,000. (FYI, real estate commissions are negotiable.) Sometimes agents will recommend particular home inspectors to a prospective buyer, sometimes a list of three is given out. How did these inspectors “qualify” to get on the “approved” list? Is the agent recommending a thorough non-bias inspector or is the agent recommending someone who will help protect the potential $10,000 commission? THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ANTI- REALTOR NOR IS IT TO BASH REALTORS as I said earlier there are good and bad in any industry some of these referrals from good agents may be your best option. It would be a lie for me to say I do not receive some referrals from real estate agents…but I am completely unbiased, report exactly what is found with clear communication and work 100% for my clients as my older brother says “do the right thing” The point of this article is to not fall victim to a “drive by inspection” to do you OWN research on the individual and business that will be your last line protection in the home buying process.